The CDC recommends that all adults born between 1945 and 1965 be screened for infection with the hepatitis C virus. These “baby boomers” are five times more likely than other adults to have this disease.
The AAFP’s National Research Network recently worked with the CDC to develop the agency’s Guide to Comprehensive Hepatitis C Counseling and Testing.
According to the CDC, 3 million people in the United States are living with chronic hepatitis C infection and of this group, 75 percent were born from 1945 to 1965. National prevalence data show that people born during this period — best known as baby boomers — have a prevalence of hepatitis C infection that is five times higher than that among other adults.
That’s why in August 2012, the CDC recommended (www.cdc.gov) that adults born between 1945 and 1965 be offered a one-time test for hepatitis C virus (HCV) regardless of their specific risk for the disease. The CDC estimated one-time testing of this population would identify 800,000 infections and could help avert more than 120,000 HCV-related deaths, saving the nation $1.5-$7.1 billion in disease-related costs.
Around the time of the recommendation, the CDC also released a draft version of A Guide to Comprehensive Hepatitis C Counseling and Testing to field-test with primary care health professionals, soliciting their feedback and, subsequently, crafting a final iteration.
The final manual provides guidance on testing and counseling patients born during this period for use in primary care practices and public health settings.
To facilitate the field-testing process, the CDC contracted with Battelle Health & Analytics who, in turn, partnered with the AAFP National Research Network (AAFP NRN) to connect with Academy members’ practices that would use and review the guide.
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